Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Woolworths helps the mp3 format out of obscurity

You might have thought that the public - even the not-especially-tech-savvy parts of it - have, over the last 14 years or so, grown used to the mp3 format and understood what it is and what it does. Indeed, part of the problem other online music formats have is they lack the recognition value of the mp3 and aren't so simple to understand what they do.

Woolworths, HMV and a bunch of other UK music retailers aren't so sure. Indeed, they feel the idea of an mp3 file is so alien to the populace that they might need a logo to understand it.

This is it. For some reason, early plans to include a "plays for sure" promise were judged unwise and quietly dropped. The Entertainment Retailers Assocation are proud of their new baby:

7digital, Digitalstores, Tescodigital, Tunetribe, Play.com, HMV and Woolworths are all on board for the launch. ERA digital chairman Russel Coultart said the move was to take the message to music fans "that they can legally buy downloads which are not locked to specific players or computers or mobile phones".

Aha. Here we are mocking them but clearly, they've identified a segment of the market that will recognise that "mp3" refers to a digital music format but without the words "100% compatible" wouldn't realise it would play on their mp3 player.


Anonymous said...

It's irony personified that Mac users such as myself can't download said 100% compatible mp3's from Woolworths (who proudly display the logo) because their cart system only works with windows PC's which sort of undermines all that guff about not locking into a particular computer or manufacturer. I love double speak marketing guff.

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